A viral claim stating that the 'Patriots' involved on January 6th Capitol attacks are likely to get presidential pardon from Donald Trump is found to be fake. The HOAX claim states that the 'White House Pardons Department' is asking for the names of those involved in the Capitol insurrection so that they could be considered for Presidential pardon.
Despite the claim being fake, it has gone viral social media with many calling it a ploy by federal authorities to nab the culprits. As per reports, by Saturday, 17 cases had been filed by the prosecutors in federal district court and while 40 had been filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court. The offenses mentioned against the accused include assaulting police officers, entering restricted areas of the US Capitol, stealing federal property and threatening lawmakers.
Post is Asking for Personal Details of the Attackers
The posts which originated from Parler, are now circulating on various social media platforms including Twitter and Instagram.
One of the posts uploaded by a Parler user @PARDONWH, states that Donald Trump is considering pardoning the 'patriots' and peaceful protests at the capitol on January 6. The post further asks for full name, city of residence, crime to be pardoned for and a participation photo at the Capitol.
The other viral version of the claim is more detailed. The post has been made by a user @WHPardonAttny. It has a picture of US President Donald Trump. Stating that they do not have a lot of time to act, the user states, "POTUS is strongly considering PARDONING all of the patriots who #stormthecapitol. But we need to get him the right information so he can do it in the next week and a half," read the post.
While asking for the name and details related to the crime for which the pardon is being sought, the post insisted that Trump needs the list by Tuesday before the House can vote to impeach him again. The post is signed off by 'Rosalind,' a name being used in reference to the Acting Pardon Attorne, Rosalind Sargent-Burns.
DOJ Debunks the Viral Post
Soon after the posts went viral on various social media platforms, the Department of Justice issued a statement insisting that the 'information should not be taken seriously.'
"Please be advised that the information circulating on social media claiming to be from Acting Pardon Attorney Rosalind Sargent-Burns is inauthentic and should not be taken seriously. The Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney does not have a social media presence and is not involved in any efforts to pardon individuals or groups involved with the heinous acts that took place this week in and around the U.S. Capitol," read the statement.
Several users even pointed the fake claim to be a tactic being used by law agencies to identify and arrest those who participated in the riots. "Do we know it's the FBI doing this? I know there's no such thing as a White House Pardon Attorney, just not sure it's the FBI. And if it is, maybe we shouldn't alert the traitors....just my two cents," tweeted a user.
"Hi, yes. This is White House pardon attorney. We are not the FBI. Tell us your name, address, and the crime you committed for, um, pardoning. Yes, pardoning. Again, we are definitely not the FBI," read another tweet.